Baseball Falls Late to No. 23 Arizona State, 5-4
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah baseball team dropped a tough game to No. 23 Arizona State 5-4 on Friday night at Smith's Ballpark.
With the two teams tied heading into the ninth, the Sun Devils hit a solo home run to go up 5-4 and held onto that lead to get the win.
The Utes mixed things up to start the game with RHP Zac McCleve taking the mound in the first inning. He pitched 2.0 innings and allowed Utah to take an early lead. In the bottom half of the second, Utah got the first two men on with walks. Jaylon McLaughlin stepped up and singled to left field to score Rykker Tom from second giving Utah a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Utah manufactured another run with two outs. With two down, they had three straight singles to go up 2-0.
The Sun Devils got on the board in the fifth, but the Utes responded right back scoring their third run of the game. With two men on, Shea Kramer got his second RBI of the night singling to left field putting Utah up 3-1.
The scoring continued in the sixth as Arizona State put three runs on the board to take their first lead of the game. After the Sun Devils took a 4-3 lead, McLaughlin got things going for Utah. After drawing a walk, McLaughlin scored from first on a hit and run where Jayden Kiernan hit a single to right field.
With the game tied, both bullpens kept the game even into the ninth inning. With two outs, the Sun Devils hit a solo home run to right field to go up 5-4. Utah couldn't mount another rally as Arizona State took game one of the series.
The loss drops Utah to a 9-22 record overall and 4-12 conference record.
Utah totaled 12 hits on the evening. Tom was 3-3 with one walk and scored a run. Kramer went 2-3 with two RBI.
Justin Kelly came in for McCleve and pitched 4.0 innings allowing four runs on eight hits. Matthew Sox pitched the next 2.2 innings and didn't give up a run until the solo home run in the ninth. He took the loss dropping his record to 4-1 on the season.
Utah and Arizona State will play the second game of the series on Saturday at Smith's Ballpark. First pitch is at 4 p.m.